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You didn't see this in the debate as it failed to garner enough votes.

Oh, and by the way, despite Trump's tape not having any votes (it was too late to be included) it got what was darn close to first billing.  So much for democracy and the people's voice, which the commission claimed was going to be responsible for the order of questions and which questions got included at all.

You see, according to the media and Hillary Clinton the most-important thing to talk about is whether someone made lewd comments 10 years in the past.  We cannot, of course, have the first question in the debate be about a 12 year old******victim that was sewed up after being violated, and yet Hillary Clinton, in defending the rapist, filed a motion in court alleging that she liked older menhad filed false allegations of sexual assault in the past and was taken to fantasies.  I've read that motion (it's available at the above link) and it was filed without presenting any objective evidence for those assertions in Hillary's bid to argue for a psych evaluation of the victim -- despite knowing that the original report of the******came about as a result of a call from the hospital where the victim was sewn up after being physically injured from being violated (to an extent sufficient to preclude her from ever being able to have children!) and the presence of forensic evidence linking her client to the offense (which she managed to argue had been compromised.)

But leaving both sides of the "ethics when it comes to women" aside -- a topic that, if given full exposure, I believe Hillary would lose badly -- there is the fact that the media utterly refuses to talk about the issues that are actually before this nation and this goes all the way back to 2008 and the financial crisis!

In point of fact I believe a clean case can be made that my question is the top issue when it comes to both the economy and health care in this election, simply on the arithmetic.

As I pointed out in my post on the budget deficit we ran a $1.4 trillion dollar deficit last fiscal year.  In a few days I will have the MTS and be able to break it down, but I already know what it's going to show me -- continued outrageous acceleration in spending on both Medicare and Medicaid, putting the lie to any claim that the spending acceleration is all about "people getting older."

No, it's not, and no, whether a candidate made lewd comments (even if there were lots of them) is immaterial to the inevitable outcome if we do not address this issue in the here and now.

The most-important issue in this campaign and in fact in our nation today is people getting screwed blind by the medical industry.  It will shortly, if not stopped, become not just about the millions of Americans who are bankrupted by this outrage but will expand to include the destruction of our government's funding model, the economy, the markets, and our way of life that will happen, with mathematical certainty, in the next few years -- almost certainly during the next President's first term.

There is exactly one way to stop it, and that is to start prosecuting and thus break up all of the price-fixing and monopoly practice in said industry, which will cause medical costs to fall through the floor -- a reduction of as much as 80% or even more.

If we do not do this, and do it today, the rest literally does not matter.  We cannot sustain $1.4 trillion deficits in a time of alleged economic expansion for long.  The markets will not allow it and the screwing you take as an individual in your cost of living will not bear it.

We either stop this, here and now, or we lose our nation.


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Why aren't we talking about this?

 DatePublic DebtIntergovernmentalTotal
-09/30/201513,123,847,198,347.81 5,026,770,468,136.52 18,150,617,666,484.33
Purchasing Destruction 1,049,576,318,548.01373,250,728,904.451,422,827,047,452.46

Remember, the actual "public" deficit is the difference in borrowing between the end of the fiscal year and the beginning in debt held by the public.  The total increase in debt, including intergovernmental (mostly Social Security and Medicare) is the actual deficit and is exactly equal, on an arithmetic basis, to the destruction in your personal purchasing power that the government causes (or gain if the government runs a surplus.)

The actual deficit -- that is, the destruction in purchasing power the federal government caused last year, is the percentage of 1.423 trillion .vs. the total GDP of 18.450 trillion or approximately 7.7%.

That's right -- the government intentionally destroyed almost 8% of your paycheck and your savings last year, running a $1.423 trillion dollar budget deficit, which is roughly equal to the worst of the "great recession" when tax revenues went through the floor.

Today there is no such "tax shortfall" excuse. 

The breakdown of exactly where the ugly is coming from will be published next week.  I already know what is in there because I've been following the monthly treasury statements all fiscal year, but wish to report final "as tallied" facts -- and thus will have another post at that time.

Let me be clear: On the arithmetic if we do not stop this now within the next 4-5 years -- that is, within the next Presidential term -- our government will collapse, our economy will collapse, our health care system will collapse and both the stock and housing markets will collapse.  This is not politics, it's arithmetic.  And the worst part of it is that I am utterly certain that the "references" count, along with the "views" count on this article will both be a fraction of the politically-oriented articles I've recently posted.  That the real end of our way of life in America, a threat that is obvious, mathematically certain, not very far in the future and yet avoidable if we act now fails to garner any sort of serious attention is the real outrage folks.

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2016-08-23 18:08 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 1613 references

How many times will you hear crap coming out of your Tee Vee and various reps and senators before you drop everything you're doing, get off your ass, show up in DC and refuse to leave until everyone involved in this garbage goes to prison?

The EpiPen isn’t new; it has been in use since 1977. Research and development costs were recouped long ago. Nine years ago, it was bought by the pharmaceutical company Mylan, which then began to sell the device. When Mylan bought it, EpiPens cost about $57 each.

Few competitors existed, and for various reasons, that has remained the case. The device actually worked and saved lives. People needed it. Mylan raised the price. It also began to raise awareness.

"Raise the price" is sure a decent description... if you consider a 500% increase a "raise"...


No competition.

Or is there?

Yes, there is.  You can buy these over the counter virtually anywhere in Europe for about $20 each.  You can buy insulin over the counter in France for about the same price for a month's worth of supply.

And yet if you bring just one of either back over said border with you then you are breaking the law.  Bring a whole suitcase back and you're going to prison.

Yet if you did exactly that, were not put in prison and sold them, how many $600 (for a pack of two) pens would be sold in America?  Zero, because even if you charged $50 each (a $30, or 150% profit) you could make a hell of a business out of flying back and forth between any EU country and the United States doing exactly this.

How long would Mylan sell them for $300 each ($600 for a 2-pack) if you started doing this?  15 seconds, which is how long it would take them to figure out that they'd sell zero of them if they didn't drop the price back to about $50.

Now note very carefully that absent government force it is blatantly illegal under 15 USC, with a ten year per count felony prison term, to attempt to monopolize, restrain trade or price-fix.  Therefore it is only because of the explicit, intentional and outrageous conduct of your own government that you are getting raped like this on a literal daily basis, and this issue, as I've repeatedly pointed out is not limited to EpiPens -- in fact, Mylan has raised prices on dozens of off-patent, generic medications by about the same 500% in the last few years and the only reason they get away with any of it is the above use of government force.

Note that while the law may prohibit you from bringing said things back from Europe under penalty of imprisonment nowhere in that same law does it exempt the makers from 15 United States Code -- in other words, said law and regulation prohibiting your reimportation doesn't grant them an exemption to 15 USC prohibiting restraint of trade or pricing-fixing.  If that law were ever to be enforced those executives would still go to prison and their firms would still be bankrupted by ruinous fines, in short.

That is exactly where they, and all of Congress, damn well ought to be facing right here, right now.

If you want to know why medical care is so expensive and you need the fraud called "insurance", if you want to know why Obamacare was "sold" to people and is now going to collapse, if you want to know why Medicare and Medicaid were sold as "necessary" and yet continue to bankrupt the nation the answer is right here.

You are paying roughly five times what virtually everything ought to cost when it comes to medicine, and the reason you are paying it is because every firm and person in the business either is wantonly violating the law (and nobody ever gets indicted or goes to prison despite doing so) or even worse they've conspired with the government so they can enforce what is an otherwise-illegal act of restraint of trade under penalty of throwing your ass in jail instead of theirs and yet the're still quite-arguably violating the law themselves!

Let me know when you're ready to cut the crap, America, because until you do en-masse and descend on Washington DC to demand and enforce that this garbage stop right here and now, with every one of the co-conspirators drawing 20+ years of hard felony federal time along with each and every one of the involved firms being dismantled from the millions of dollars of fines per count, with each person harmed being a separate count, you deserve to be screwed, blued, tattooed and finally dead as you continue, each and every day, to give your consent to exactly that.

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2016-07-09 13:30 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 5097 references

Seriously folks?

You don't understand why The Ticker has faded to black?


Let me start with this: Why do drug dealers shoot each other on street corners?

Answer: Joe the drug dealer cannot call the cops and tell them that Jack the drug dealer ripped him off and sold him a bag of oregano instead of weed.  Joe also can't sue Jack.  Thus, when the threshold of his tolerance is crossed Joe has only the use of direct force available to him because he has no recourse to the law to settle his dispute with Jack.

The FIRST foundation of civil society is The Rule of Law.  Without it there is literally nothing other than the Law of the Jungle, commonly known as "he who has the biggest teeth (or the most guns) and is willing to use them first wins."

Let me remind you that Han Solo, who is widely regarded through the Star Wars series as a heroshot first at Mos Eisley.  George Lucas edited that in the second release of the film (and later had to put it back after fan outrage) but it is a fact that Han shot first in the original theatrical release. Why did Han shoot first and kill Greedo?  Because he knew there was no Rule of Law and he had no recourse to the lawwhich incidentally was later proved to be an exactly correct expectation when he was made an ornament in Jabba's castle.

Now I want you to stop reading, go get an adult beverage or a cup of coffee, and think long and hard before you continue reading about the above.




Did you go get your drink, consume it, and think?

Good -- you may now continue.

This site was founded back in the early part of the financial crisis, spring of 2007 to be exact, because the Rule of Law was being blatantly disregarded -- specifically, with regard to "Prompt Corrective Action" and banks that were paying out dividends with fictitious earnings.

Did anyone go to prison for doing that?  No.

Did anyone go to prison for selling "good investments" to clients that they described in their own internal emails and on recorded internal conference calls as "vomit" and "dog squeeze"?  NO.

Did anyone go to prison for claiming to Congress (and all testimony to Congress is under oath) that they were "adding liquidity" to the system during the meltdown when I found, in public records, that in fact over $60 billion was pulled from the system into the maw of Lehman's collapse?  That facially appears to be perjury, incidentally. The answer is again NO, and one of the people directly responsible (at the time the head of the NY Fed) was actually rewarded for this act (among others) by being appointed to head the Treasury Department (Tim Geithner.)

Did anyone get prosecuted for the felony of perjury in filing literally hundreds of thousands of knowingly false documents in foreclosure actions across the country?  NO.

How many hundreds of thousands of Americans lost jobs and homes as a direct result of this?  How many lives were ruined?  Now ask this: How many people were made whole on the damage they suffered as a result of these acts, all of which were facial violations of the law?



It is broadly illegal to price-fix via any mechanism where market power exists.  So says 15 United States Code, Chapter 1. Go read it.  Virtually the entire US Medical System operates on business models that are facially in violation of that section of law.  The latest outrage is an off-patent device called an "Epipen" used for severe allergic reactions; if you need one and don't have it you have a very good chance of dying.  They cost about $60 10 years ago, and are about $100 today anywhere else in the world.  Except here in the United States -- where they're $400, and if you get on a plane, buy a bunch and bring them back to sell (to make a profit and undercut the price) you go to prison.  The exact same sort of price-fixing with the direct support of the US government and FDA is present in virtually every area of medical practice -- from drugs to devices to hospitals.  All of this facially appears to be illegal; were I to even have had a discussion with a competitor on fixing pricing when I ran my Internet company that would have been a federal offense.

How many people are dead -- broke -- or both as a direct result of these practices?  There is an entire industry that accounts for nearly one dollar in five spent on all items in our economy and it has multiplied its share of spending by a factor of roughly six through the use of these tactics.  You, I and everyone else in the country are being overcharged by a factor of five times as a result, it's destroying the Federal budget and has or will destroy state and local budgets also. You can't run a car repair shop without quoting prices before you start turning wrenches and yet it is essentially impossible to get a price, nor to bind the hospital to any figure they give you, for a procedure before it is done.


What did you see James Comey do in regards to Hillary Clinton and her "private" email server, on which she knowingly stored and transmitted classified information?  The head of the FBI - the nation's top police officer - stood at the podium and described, facially, a felony violation of the law, which I remind you does not require intent, and then said "no prosecutor would bring the case."  Then, one business day later, he sat in Congress and described knowing that a second felony violation of the law, perjury, had taken place in that he admitted he knew she had lied before Congress about 'never' having done so and yet he insisted that he needed a "referral" to "investigate" said act.

If you were being interviewed because the FBI thought you robbed a bank and on your kitchen table was a bale of marijuana do you think they'd need a "referral" to bust you for the weed?  You know damn well the handcuffs would be on you in seconds, so why weren't they on Hillary?

Next, if there was no intent as Comey claimed he could not find why did she lie repeatedly, both to the public and Congress, about the presence of classified information on her server?  You don't lie about something you aren't trying to hide and you don't hide something that doesn't incriminate you!  Prosecutors argue this every single day before juries and get thousands of convictions every year on exactly that basis -- the accused lied about something they did and that lie is evidence that they knew what they were doing was wrong as that's the only reason to lie about it!

Another section of the same law attaches liability to anyone who is involved in these acts and fails to report them.  That facially involves Bill and Chelsea Clinton as well as Hillary's entire senior staff!  This issue is, again, not just limited to Hillary's conduct.  As persons with security clearances (with the possible exception of Chelsea) they all were aware of the law and their positive obligation to immediately report any breach of security of classified information, and failure to do so is a criminal offense.

Finally, contrary to Comey's assertions (which were also a lie, and since they were made to Congress were also Perjury, a felony violation of the law) there indeed are people who not only have been but are being prosecuted for quite-similar violations of the law with regard to classified data.  Specifically there are service members who have been arrested, not just demoted or had their security clearances revoked, for putting classified information on unauthorized devices.  One, Kristian Saucier, faces 20 years in prison; there is no apparent public evidence that this individual ever allowed anyone outside of trusted Navy circles to see the images.  Comey made the blanket statement that the government does not prosecute people who do not give said information intentionally to our enemies; his statement before Congress was a lie.

If you believe this is a singular instance you have your head firmly planted somewhere that the sun never shines.  As yet another example out of literally hundreds I cite the recent shooting at Pulse; 50 people died.  The wife of the shooter has disappeared and the FBI has pointedly refused to answer as to where she is, despite the fact that it has been disclosed that she drove the shooter to the club and knew he was going to do it.  That makes her an accessory just as you or I would be charged with murder if we drove our girlfriend or boyfriend to a bank to rob it and he or she shot dead a teller.  There are now reports circulating that this woman was allowed to flee the country and is in the Middle East where she cannot be extradited nor has she been indicted.  Before you say one more word about how "blue lives matter" you first have to account for and subtract back off the 50 murders that didn't matter when we had someone who we could charge with them that was both alive and able to be arrested, indicted and prosecuted.


If I, as an ordinary person, fire a gun I own every single round that comes out of the barrel until it comes to rest.  Even if I am perfectly justified in drawing and firing that weapon if I shoot an innocent person I remain responsible for the round that did not go where I intended it to and the results of same.  Now contrast this with the police of any stripe, who may fire indiscriminately, emptying weapons containing dozens of rounds even into targets that are facially wrong such as a pair of women in a truck when they are seeking a man in California, and yet they are never held accountable for the damage those rounds do to either person or property.

How many people are dead in Orlando not as a result of a terrorist but rather due to the rounds fired by police, along with their intentional 3+ hour delay in entering the building?  Where are the manslaugher (or felonious assault) charges for the persons who were hit with wildly-sprayed rounds from police weapons during that breach? Why has there been no accounting for those rounds and the persons killed by them?  Why is there never any accounting for said rounds fired by the police wildly and with outrageous disregard for innocent persons in the vicinity?  You or I would be charged immediately for such a flagrant display of gross negligence, likely with multiple felonies.


Now consider all of the above flagrant violations of the law, all of which were observed by many officers of the law of all stripes -- federal, state, county and local.  Exactly how many of said officers made an arrest and processing of said suspects (including other police officers, CEOs or politicians) for behavior they personally witnessed that was (and is) a facial violation of the law, turning over same to a prosecutor?

Effectively zero.


If that's not enough the shooter in Dallas was cornered -- "treed" if you will, isolated in a parking garage from which he could not escape.  Rather than wait him out and arrest him, then go through this entire pesky "due process" thing including a trial and sentence even though he was not presently shooting at anyone the police instead mounted a bomb on a robot and blew him up.  You got that folks?  Yeah, he was obviously guilty as hell but if you catch someone having just killed your daughter and he's cornered in your shed, either out of ammo or choosing not to shoot at that time, you cannot blow the shed up rather than arrest him!  Due process of law?  What's that?  

Boobus Americanus cheered that on too and yet what you just invited the next guy to do is throw a grenade or make damn sure he has a really BIG bomb with him instead of surrendering when cornered! If one person has no right to due process of law THEN NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE -- including the cops.


Folks, all of what has gone on of late is traceable and chargeable to the destruction of The Rule of Law.  The destruction of millions of American's financial status, their wealth, their freedom, their health and frequently their very lives are destroyed because CERTAIN PEOPLE, namely the rich, politically powerful, those wearing a "blue" costume of some sort or those who happen to run big corporations can and do whatever they wish and are simply not prosecuted for violations of the law that you, I, or anyone else would be and are.

When you back a bear into a corner it will attack you because it perceives that as the only remaining course of action that it has available to it other than death.

We created the conditions under which drug dealers resort to shooting each other because we made the consensual act of trade in and consumption of certain substances a crime, and by doing so denied them any other recourse under the law for disputes among themselves.

They are at fault for shooting at one another but it is our responsibility because we intentionally removed their recourse to the law.

We created the conditions under which millions of Americans, most of whom are not drug dealers, believe they have no recourse to the law through our willful and intentional acts and then we sit still, swill beer and post on Facebook when the fact that ordinary Americans have no recourse to the law as soon as someone rich, powerful or wearing a costume who wants to screw them is shoved in our faces instead of demanding that all of this crap stop.  That message - "you have no recourse" - has been driven in day after day as every "important person", cop or company you care to name pulls some stunt that would result in anyone else facing down an immediate felony indictment and walks away laughing or, equally as bad, collects hugs, donuts and, for corporate executives, million dollar bonuses.

Specifically, and in reference to recent events, it is our refusal to demand that police officers be held accountable for every round they fire just as is any other person.

It is our refusal to demand that those in political power who perjure themselves are prosecuted while if you lie you go to prison for obstruction of justice.

It is our refusal to demand that "law enforcement officers" who aid and abet someone who can facially be indicted for multiple counts of murder "disappearing" be held accountable as accessories after the fact and indicted themselves, never mind refusing to demand that our former Attorney General and current President who between them, along with dozens of other "sworn officers", knowingly armed drug dealers also face indictment for their acts.

It is our refusal to demand that the cops who claimed they had video footage of an innocent man shooting and plastered same all over the media when they knew they did not be prosecuted for intentionally causing him to be subjected to death threats and have his reputation destroyed while if he had told the slightest untruth to said cops he would have been charged with obstruction, lying to investigators or both.  Worse, instead of tendering that demand and sticking to it we bring the cops donuts, pay for their lunches and post all sorts of laudatory crap on social media, cheering on the lies!

It is our refusal to demand that an officer who claims to pull over a car for a broken tail-light when both lights are clearly illuminated on the dashcam video and then shoots said motorist be immediately brought up on murder charges and as prime evidence of his guilt we use his intentionally false statement that he was stopping the car for a broken taillight.

It is our refusal to demand that police officers who steal property under so-called "civil forfeiture" when they have no actual offense they can charge the owner with be prosecuted and imprisoned for grand theft and the entire department so-involved dismantled for Racketeering, exactly as you or I would be if we all got together and held people up at gunpoint claiming that they had committed some crime, stealing everything they owned.

It is our refusal to demand that executives in the medical and pharmaceutical industries face the music for conduct that facially appears to violate hundred-year old anti-trust laws that not only mandate a decade long prison sentence for said executives they come with company-ruining fines big enough on a per-count basis to destroy any corporation that pulls this crap.

It is our refusal to demand that all of the "finance professionals" who sold mathematically impossible schemes in the pension and insurance space to teachers, police officers, firemen and others go to prison and have their firms confiscated for promising that which is impossible.

And it is our refusal to hold accountable all in a given role who are aware of this rank corruption, have taken an oath to uphold the law and have violated that oath by either not doing their job directly or sitting silently while others refuse to do so.  It is illegal for a person to be associated with Daesh even if they do not personally commit a terrorist act.  Given that fact why can any member of a police force or other government agency, whether federal, state or local, cover up or refuse to investigate blatantly unlawful behavior without everyone involved in same being charged as co-conspirators when the law clearly defines that someone who acts as an accessory before or after the fact is equally liable.

If this issue -- the utter destruction of The Rule of Law -- is not addressed now there is a very real risk that the spiral of events that has been growing, first slowly and now exponentially, could erupt into literal war within our own nation.

If it does you had better get up and look in the damned mirror because it is the collective inaction and refusal to demand the restoration of the Rule of Law by the American people that has and will lead to this outcome.  There is no violent repression -- by police or anyone else -- that can stop it.  

Only restoring the Rule of Law so everyone has equal recourse to the law will stop and reverse what is otherwise inevitable.

It is for this reason that I have decided that for the present I am going to go enjoy whatever time is left in a reasonably-peaceful society here in America instead of writing for your consumption, for I neither believe that this relatively-peaceful state of affairs will persist for long nor do I believe any material number of people will lift a single finger to do anything about it other than whining on so-called "social media."

Eight years is enough time to see whether or not there is any indication that any material percentage of the public gives a good damn and absent a marked change in the evidence my verdict is in.

Han was not wrong in his assessment of the state of Rule of Law in the Star Wars Universe. We must not, as a society, allow that assessment among people in this nation to continue on the path it is on here in the United States or the outcome will be the same.

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2016-06-18 05:00 by Karl Denninger
in Personal Health , 1353 references
[Comments enabled]  

The often-heard comments when someone says they're eating HFLC include "your kidneys will explode", "Atkins was really bad for him (Mr. Atkins)", "You'll have a heart attack", "You can't be athletic doing that; you need carbs" and more.

I would like to put some perspective on this.  Yes, this is anecdote; it's a sample size of one with no double-blind, of course -- that is, my personal experience.

Some background: Somewhat over five years ago I essentially went hard-core Atkins-induction coupled with "Couch-to-5k."  At the time I was unable to run one half mile without stopping, climbing a few sets of stairs was work, even summer lawn mowing was a strenuous exercise -- while the heat was certainly not helpful, neither was exercise tolerance.  I was "nominally healthy" in that I was not diabetic, but my body mass had risen from about 155 in High School to right around 210, plus or minus a couple.  I had several times undertaken fairly severe exercise regimes, including hour-long daily stints on a stationary recumbent bike I purchased, in an attempt to lose weight, along with a low-fat, "eat plants" diet -- without success.  I could drop 10lbs without much trouble, but no more, I was ravenously hungry all the time, and as soon as I cut back on the exercise the weight came right back on and stayed.

I'm absolutely certain that I was insulin resistant even though my blood glucose was normal -- I'd get the "hangries" if I attempted to not eat in the morning immediately on waking, and was often hungry for something by mid-afternoon after eating a carb-laden (and low-fat) lunch.  If there was a bag full of M&Ms in front of me and I had one, the entire bag would be gone within a couple of hours.  The same for a tin full of cookies.  A loaf of home-made bread (I have a bread-maker) would be lucky to make two days; the first big, thick slice would get consumed and I'd want two more an hour later.

In short despite my outward metabolic signs being ok, but being overweight (not obese) I know exactly where I was headed -- for both obesity and diabetes.  I'm sure of it.

So in early 2011 I decided I'd had enough -- that the conventional wisdom was either wrong or I was simply going to be consigned due to bad genetics to get older, fatter, and sicker.  The latter is what we have all been sold and I was determined to not simply give up.

Since that was the consensus, I saw no harm in trying something else -- after all, the odds were that I would not make it worse, at least not quickly, and when it comes to things like heart attacks and strokes they take years to develop, weeks or months.

So I went full-on, zero-carb Atkins induction, bought a pair of Nike running shoes and a Garmin 305 with a heart rate strap to track my exercise.

I'm not going to tell you that this was an easy path, at least at first.  I modified the Couch-to-5k thing (you can look it up online) in only one way -- the very last segment of each work-out I ran as hard and fast I could.  At the start this was maybe an eighth to a quarter of a mile, but it would grow to a half-mile later.  Other than that I pretty-much followed the program.

I could not run a half-mile when I started.  Not even close.

I felt like I'd been hit by a bus every.... single... day.

But I kept with it, both on the food and running.  After the first two weeks I added back green vegetables, but otherwise ate zero carbohydrate -- and that included alcohol.  Instead of three times a week I tried for five, and got up at 0500 every day to do it because living in Florida it's hot, even in May.

In the first week, five pounds disappeared.  I knew this would happen and probably be (mostly) water.  The next week and pretty-much every week thereafter, however, another one or two came off.

About two months later I ran a full 3.1 miles for the first time, without slowing to a walk or stopping.  It was not easy, but I did it, and by now it was the middle of June.

Eight months later, roughly that Thanksgiving, I was down to about 160.

I looked at the Garmin stats.  I had lost 50 lbs, which is about 175,000 calories. Running is about 120 calories a mile, according to a heart-rate adjusted GPS machine, and I had run roughly 500 miles at that point, or 60,000 calories worth.

Only one third of the body mass I lost was due to exercise.  That's a numerical fact; the rest was lost due to changing what I ate.

I slowly lost about another 5 lbs; my body weight now fluctuates around 155, +/- 5, assuming I'm reasonably good.

And there it has stayed for the last five years -- whether I'm training for a half-marathon, the Wicked Triple (three races in two days of close to a marathon distance in total), hiking part of the AT, sitting on my ass enjoying a vacation or whatever else I might be doing.  My exertion levels have literally been all over the map, yet my body mass has not.

What has remained constant, more or less, is my adherence to the consumption of food things (and not consuming others!) that I have laid out many times -- you can read that list right here.

Now here's what's changed long-term when it comes to my person and my health that I haven't talked about much:

  • Since I was a child I have had horrid problems with seasonal allergies to the point of being nearly useless twice a year for a month or so.  No amount of medication, OTC or prescription, has ever successfully controlled this completely.  Benedryl works but knocks me flat on my ass, and anything containing pseudoephedrine makes me feel extremely uncomfortable -- I'm one of the people who just can't use any decongestant containing that substance.  I was basically forced to remain indoors, in an air-conditioned space, for two months out of the year and maintain a high-quality pollen filter in my car's airhandler -- or else.  I also avoided travel to woodsy and other flowery areas during the times they were in bloom for obvious reasons.  Slowly, over the last couple of years, my seasonal allergies irrespective of where I am in the country have almost completely disappeared.  They're not completely gone; I still suffer from some congestion for short periods of time, but it's much better than it was.  Last spring I hiked a piece of the AT through the spring bloom, complete with thousands of bees pollinating the flowers, and had exactly zero trouble.  Five years ago that would have been unthinkable.  This appears to be correlated with....

  • My general inflammation level has, I believe, dropped quite a bit.  I had always had "on and off" acne problems, even as an adult.  As a teen it was bad, but it never went completely away -- until I got rid of the carbs.  The same is true of skin issues; I always had them on and off, especially in the winter when the air is dry.  Again, completely gone the first winter and they have stayed gone since.  Gee, I wonder what's going on in my coronary arteries?  Betcha it's not bad things but no, I'm not paying a couple of grand to get CT+contrast scanned to find out for sure.  (The one exception: perfumes in laundry detergents will still "get" me, so I have to watch out for that.)
  • I have no adverse blood glucose reaction to sugar intake.  I have, a couple of times in the last year, "challenged" my body with heavy sugar intake just to see what happens; typically with a large dose of milk chocolate or heavily sugar-laden confections like donuts.  I've not been able to drive my blood glucose over 110 with such a challenge despite intentionally trying.  I don't know if I could actually drive my blood sugar to anywhere near 140 today (the upper boundary of what they call the "normal" reaction to such a test) if I literally sat and ate a bag of sugar.  Note that while I was never diabetic I'm very sure my metabolism was compromised.  For those who wonder if your metabolic systems can heal over time if you stop insulting them, the answer appears to be "Yes."

  • I don't like sugar any more.  Things with a lot of sugar in them taste like crap.  Raw white sugar now has a smell to it that I associate with being "medicinal" and is not at all pleasant.  It sort of smells like poison, in fact -- hmmmm.... maybe it is?

  • I have no "hangries" -- ever -- or carb-cravings.  I often have no desire to eat anything before roughly lunchtime; I'll get up in the morning and am simply not hungry.  This means that if I eat something around lunch, and then around dinner, I'm effectively fasting 18 hours out of every day.  It's not because I'm trying, it's because I'm not hungry.

  • If I do work out a lot my appetite goes up.  If I don't it goes down.  I don't have to think about it, count calories, make efforts to restrict my consumption of food or anything like that.  It's simply this: If I'm hungry I eat.  If I'm not I don't.  Oh, and since I'm not gorging myself on hangries my capacity for food has shrunk.  Yes, it appears my stomach is smaller, in that I get full faster -- and it empties slower too.  An interesting observation that I cannot correlate with fact, but I sure can with how I feel if I try to stuff myself for some reason.

  • My exercise tolerance has gone up massively.  The other day I worked on wrecking out part of my gazebo floor (it needs replaced) which involved using a Wonder Bar, saw and moving sand (via shovel and yard cart) that had accumulated under them and then mowed most of the back yard -- in 90ish degree weather with 85%+ humidity.  It was hotter than Hell, but other than needing to stop and get a drink a couple of times it wasn't all that bad.  I would have heat-stroked out trying this a few years ago -- literally.  Likewise I might go run a 5k tonight, and while the sun will be down it won't be any cooler.  Yes, it will be hotter than hell, but I'm not concerned about not being able to do it.  This I attribute to the exercise, not the diet.  But, with an extra 50lbs I suspect I wouldn't be able to move my additional mass irrespective of my cardio condition anywhere near as well as I can today.

  • I am far faster running now than I ever was -- including in High School!  I was never able to break the 9 minute mile barrier on a 3 mile run, with my "typical" time being around 30 minutes.  My PR now is 7:00 flat on a timed 5k race and 7:49 on a half-marathon.  This isn't a singular result either; my kid, who ran one season with the HS cross-country team, has half-way adopted my way of eating over the last six months -- and not only has her appearance improved she has also taken more than two minutes a mile from her time, breaking the 10 minute/mile threshold for the first time in the last couple of weeks.  Don't tell me you can't perform athletically on a low-carb diet -- that's a damned lie.

I'm not going to tell you this was all easy, because it wasn't up front.  Yes, carb-cravings are real.  A week or so back while in a group having a conversation that turned to food I remarked that I do not, as a rule, eat carbs -- my carb intake is for the most part beer, and only a couple a day maximum.  A nurse who was there proceeded to say that "Atkins causes kidney disease" and further that she "has cravings for carbs and thus needs them."  Both are false; first, Atkins is high fat, not high protein.  It is true that high protein diets can cause kidney problems but that's not Atkins; that's doing it wrong!  Second, meth causes cravings too, but that doesn't mean you need meth -- it means you're addicted to it!  Carbs are the same deal; when challenged as to the specific nutrients that you need that are in carbs, of course, she had no answer.  That would be because there aren't any; the amount of carbohydrate you actually require in your diet is zero.  I gave up; oh, she was complaining about having big snoring problems too (gee, I wondered, if you lost some weight what might happen to that........) This, however, is illustrative of the attitude of many in the so-called "health business"; their 4 hours of class at some point was not only insufficient most of what was in there is flat out wrong and even when taking this path might help alleviate a person problem they're experiencing they won't try it!

Here's my view, more than five years into this: I've seen exactly zero bad effects from adopting this lifestyle, and multiple good ones.  My indicators of metabolic health have improved, my exercise tolerance is up massively, I am more able to perform athletically today than I was when I was 17 despite being three times as old, I have zero glucose tolerance trouble evident when challenged, I am never "hangry", I do not crave carbs and in fact find things with sugar in them "too" sweet yet I count no calories or make other conscious attempt to control my food intake and my body mass is approximately what it was 35 years ago and hasn't moved more than a few pounds in either direction for the last five years.  The only exception was when I was in a relationship, eating far too many carbs (and knew it) and five more pounds went on -- literally as soon as I cut that crap out they disappeared within a couple of weeks.

Why would I change what I'm doing now, when for the last five years it has worked -- effortlessly -- to not only halt what was an obvious and visible (albeit slow) decrease my personal vitality and health that many would simply attribute to old age, but almost-completely reversed it -- and in many cases my health and physical abilities now exceed those of my teen years!

Yes, I'm a data set of one.

Now tell me why would you not run your own experiment.

I'm all ears.

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